After a (slight) internal battle, I decided to push aside any possible fears and I booked two day trips during the Easter weekend; one to Oxford and another one to Cardiff (I will tell you all about that trip in another post). Now these aren’t exactly places to be scared of (at all), and it was certainly not the first time I would be travelling alone. However this was still a first, as I was neither meeting anyone at my destination nor was I going to stay there for the next couple of months. Am I still making sense?
Excitement after booking soon turned into hesitation as the days passed; “what was I thinking, where am I going, what am I going to do in these cities alone”. Then Friday morning came, I left my comfortable bed around 7 am, hopped on the Oxford Tube (daily coach service from London to Oxford) and arrived in the most beautiful place, only 1,5 hours later.
Take a ‘free’ walking tour
Oxford lives and breathes its history. Although it is quite a small place there is plenty to see and do. I decided to join one of the free walking tours through the city, which is an amazing concept by the way! You pay (or don’t) whatever you think the tour was worth. The guides were all locals and knew every single detail about Oxford, including some hilarious anecdotes on the ancient rivalry between students and locals.
The tour lasted about 2 hours and took us to all the must-see sights. Normally, I am not a big fan of guided tours as you don’t have much freedom to take (blog) photos and I find that certain things are explained in too much detail to remain interesting. On top of the (sometimes) ridiculous prices, I tend to play my own guide whenever I travel. Yet the free walking tour found the perfect balance between keeping a steady pace and providing plenty information, without causing an information overload. Especially since I was alone, it was a great way for me to become more familiar with Oxford.
Straight out of the Wizarding World
As we finished around lunch time, I decided to sit on a bench while having my lunch. The weather was actually quite nice, despite the skies being depressingly grey most of the time. Once I finished my lunch I went back to the Bodleian Library, which is where the Harry Potter infirmary and ball room scenes were filmed! While I stood in the middle of the Divinity School, I was completely amazed by its beautiful architecture and I couldn’t believe that I was standing in the same room in which two Harry Potter films were shot!
There are actually more Harry Potter locations in Oxford, Christ Church is where the Great Dining Hall scenes were filmed as well as the Hogwarts staircase. Unfortunately the queue was too long for me, as I only had limited time in the city before catching the coach back to London. Only slightly disappointed, I turned around and decided to hit the shops for a bit.
Luckily, no major spending was done! My only moment of weakness was during my final hour (how dramatic) at Waterstones, where I bought two (!) books that I’m currently trying to finish, so my mum can bring them back home after her visit. Pretty stressful yes.
All in all, I had an amazing experience. I am so happy to have seen more of England and can’t wait to continue falling in love with all the picturesque places it has to offer.
Lots of Love,